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New York jury to decide historic verdict for ex-President Donald Trump

The 12 jurors in Donald Trump's criminal trial New York prepares for Wednesday &n; deliberate and decide on a historic verdict, which could tip the American presidential campaign into a completely unknown scenario.

Manhattan court judge Juan Merchan, who has presided over this unprecedented trial against a former president of the United States since mid-April, warned jurors against any temptation to judge the facts based on their “personal opinions”.

“You have the obligation to put aside (your) personal opinions whether they are favorable or against the accused”, warned the magistrate by giving instructions to the jury of 12 American citizens who must decide the legal fate of their former Republican president (2017-2021) and who aspires to become one again.

Even before the judge's statements, Donald Trump raged as usual on his social network Truth Social against a “junk court!” and a “corrupt and conflicted” magistrate.

– Marathon –

Tuesday was a marathon day on the 15th floor at the Manhattan Courthouse.

The jury listened to more than three hours of defense arguments calling for the “quickly done, well done” acquittal of its accused outside standards, then five hours of indictment from the prosecution demanding his conviction for having “subverted democracy”

After six weeks of debates, dominated by stories of sex, money and politics, the jurors listen Wednesday morning to the instructions of Judge Merchan, before retiring behind closed doors to deliberate.

They will have to answer a question: was Donald Trump, who wants to return to the White House, guilty of 34 falsifications of accounting documents, intended to hide a payment of 130,000 dollars to the porn actress Stormy Daniels for avoid a sex scandal at the very end of his 2016 presidential campaign?

– Unanimous –

New York jury to decide historic verdict for ex-President Donald Trump

Donald Trump in Manhattan court, New York, May 29, 2024 © POOL – Doug Mills

In the event of a positive response, the 2024 presidential campaign would fall into an unprecedented scenario, with one of the two major candidates finding themselves under the considerable weight of a criminal conviction.

Donald Trump, 77, could appeal and still appear on November 5 against Joe Biden, 81.

The jury's deliberations may take several days. They will have to be unanimous to declare Donald Trump guilty or not guilty.

If, after a certain time, they reach a conclusion of disagreement, the trial will be canceled and completely redone, a respite which could prove sufficient to Donald Trump, because it will probably be difficult to organize new debates before the presidential election.

The defense therefore only needs to convince one juror not to convict the Republican Party candidate.

– “Conspiracy” –

During a five-hour indictment Tuesday, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass tried one last time to convince jurors that behind the accounting falsifications, “the heart of this case is a conspiracy and a cover-up” to win the November 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton.

The money was used to buy Stormy Daniels' silence about a sexual relationship she claims to have had in 2006 with the billionaire, when he was already married to his wife Melania, an episode denied by Donald Trump.

The sum had been paid to the actress by Michael Cohen, the businessman and Republican leader's former confidant.

Once Donald Trump was in the White House, in 2017, Michael Cohen was reimbursed, using, according to the prosecution, false invoices and entries disguised as “legal fees” in the accounts of the Trump Organization, hence the prosecution for accounting falsifications.

But for the defense, this thesis does not hold up . Donald Trump, now “leader of the free world” and busy with much more important problems, did not know the details of the paperwork when he paid his lawyer.

S If he was found guilty, the judge would pronounce the sentence in several weeks. It could go up to four years in prison, but the magistrate can decide on an alternative sentence, such as a suspended sentence with probation.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116